“Loki”, on the other hand, initially exists primarily as a showcase for Hiddleston, who in “Avengers: Endgame” picks up the string from a loose end and teases it out (and out).
As the introduction reminds us, Loki escaped into unknown parts during the events of “Endgame” when the Avengers tinkered with the past to change the future. The result of this has released a Loki “variant” (a term with a different distracting usage) that attracts the attention of an organization whose mission it is to oversee the time continuum.
The problem with time travel plots is that they tend to work best the less you dig into the details. Thanks to this premise, the audience can think of little else, since the source of the drama (and the considerable comedy) is fixated on the threat that a temporal error poses to reality itself.
So the primary kick of the program boils down to Hiddleston, as well as his interactions with temporary cop Mobius (Owen Wilson), who realizes that Loki is not trustworthy but sees him as a means to an end. An early template would be “It Takes a Thief,” which used the knowledge of an experienced cat burglar to catch other thieves.
With the time element and the buddy aspect, the opening episodes could be called “Tom and Owen’s Excellent Adventure”. There is less to do for the rest of the cast, which includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Mobius’ boss.
On the plus side, “Loki” looks fabulous, creating a bizarre world that is vastly different from other quadrants of the Marvel Universe. However, being weird – especially in those moments when it seems to be primarily about it – has its downsides.
For the most part, Marvel has proven exceptionally smart using the Disney + platform to offer richer characterizations than the movies allow, while also providing the streaming service with marquee titles that echo through the pop culture space.
The series asked a key question early on: “What makes Loki tick?” “Loki” clearly could have more tricks up its sleeve as the format dictated that these Marvel shows could only be truly judged at the end, not the beginning.
Even so, the clock is ticking whether the series can collect enough in the remaining chapters to keep its promise instead of simply killing time.
“Loki” premieres on Disney + on Wednesday June 9th.